JIM ANDERSON (Running backs coach)
Initial comment:JA: We took Bernard Scott from Abilene Christian. He has had an outstanding career. To be honest, he's a had a little bit of a troubled past, but that was when he was a young guy. That's behind him. He's been a really good football player wherever he's been. He has dominated the competition where ever he has been in football. That has been a part of him, and football is a part of him. He's a Texas kid. He's just a really good football player, and a good person. I had a chance to visit with him at the combine, and (spoke to him) numerous times on the phone. I feel comfortable with him. He's going to come in here and do the things that we need him to do to be the very best football player that he can be and help us win.
Q: What makes you comfortable that he's changed?JA: I think that there are some things that you do when you're young. I have thoroughly investigated the things that have happened to him, and I feel comfortable with it.
Q: How much of the discussion about picking him was about the public perception he would bring?JA: I think that the image is what (media) project. Give the kid a chance. I think that's the American way — to give someone a chance. Let him come in and do what he can do. ... He's a young guy, and he has learned a lot. Because of his talent level — you look at the tape and some of the things he does — maybe he didn't merit this pick. Maybe he merited a higher pick. He's just pleased to get the opportunity to play in the National Football League. He's busted his tail to get this opportunity in a lot of ways. We are glad he's with us. Just give him a chance.
Q: When was his last off-field incident?JA: I don't know. It's been a while ago. He hasn't robbed anyone. He's not a bad guy. I don't know all the history of when the latest thing was. I feel comfortable with him, and I expect him to come in here and be a heck of a citizen and a heck of a football player. I expect him to really produce and be productive for us this year and in years to come.
Q: How much of an impact do you see him having this year?JA: Only time will tell. We feel that he has the ability. My eyes will better than my ears. That's what we have to do — give him the opportunity, put him on the field and let him go from there.
Q: How about the fullback, Fui Vakapuna?JA: Fui is a very talented young man. He played at BYU, and he's played both fullback and running back for them. Our experience with Naufahu (Tahi), who was with us at one time and is now with Minnesota — they are from the same program and are very similar coming out of college. They were both running backs, and hopefully he (Vakapuna) too can make the transition that Naufahu has made (from halfback to fullback) and really be a topflight fullback in this league. He has the want-to, the size and all the athleticism. To play fullback in this league, you have to have the mental toughness to do it, and he has that. It's our job to coach him to be as good as he can possible be.
Q: Did the resigning of fullback Jeremi Johnson last week change your approach in this draft?JA: I wouldn't think so. The best motivator is competition. I think the young guy that is coming in (Vakapuna) wants a job and he (Johnson) wants a job, so you have to go out and be the very best that you can be — not only at fullback, but you have to be a contributor on teams. Let's push the buttons and the envelope where everyone can be as good as they can be, so we can be as good as we can be.